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First visit itinerary suggestions please !

Enfield, United...
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First visit itinerary suggestions please !

Hi,

We are off to Florida again next April and having heard so many great things about AMI I have booked a one night stay in nearby Brandenton.

We would have loved to have stayed on AMI itself but it being over the Easter period we could only find a chain hotel to take a single night booking.

We will be driving down at about 8am from Lake Buena Vista area Orlando and hope to arrive about 10 am ish.

There will be just the two of us (kids all grown up now and it will be our first trip without them) and I'd like it to be a really special day. I must admit I am hoping to win my husband over to loving it and maybe persuade him that we need longer there next time !!

So if anyone can help out with a plan of action and some suggestions about must do's to see,do and where to eat etc I would be very grateful.

If there is too much to cram into that day we maybe can spend up to mid afternoon of the following day there too and then head back.

What do you think?

Also where should we park when we get there?

Any help much appreciated for AMI experts !

TIA

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Enfield, United...
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1. Re: First visit itinerary suggestions please !

OOps ...sorry............ meant FROM AMI experts !!

Tampa
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2. Re: First visit itinerary suggestions please !

You might want to park your car at the south end at Coquina Beach, there are concessions there and a café. You could enjoy the beach and the take the trolley, it will take you all the way to the northend to the city pier. You can get on and off all over the island so this would give you a good feel for what its all about. I would suggest lunch at Rod & Reel Pier,food is great and you'll see a lot of fish, maybe even a dolphin or too.

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Coquina Beach
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essen, germany
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3. Re: First visit itinerary suggestions please !

Yes, Coquina Beach is a really good point to start. Check it out, see the squirrels all around and go to the beach.

Then hop on a Trolley and check the island out. It is free!

Go all the way up to the piers (2 of them). Get out and walk to the northest point (bean point)

Check out all the little shops on Pine ave... The AMI Prison and Rod and Reel Pier or Sandbar for lunch.

Fun day in Paradise!

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Coquina Beach
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Rod & Reel Pier
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4. Re: First visit itinerary suggestions please !

Yes, agree. Start at Coquina Beach, park the car. Enjoy the beach a while. Then take the free trolley to Bridge Street Bradenton (alight at the Beach House). Opportunity for a quick look at Bridge Street and the Pier. Then take the trolley onwards up Island and this time you could stop at the Beach Café Holmes Beach, take in the beach, or as suggested continue to the top of Anna Maria - Anna Maria Pier. Take in Anna Maria Pier, then a walk taking in the Rod and Reel Pier and on to Bean Point. If you don't mind walking then back to walk down Pine Avenue taking in the shops, cafes, museum (open Tuesday to Saturday) etc.to the Gulf and the Sandbar. If this sounds all too much walking, how about hiring a bike for a while at Beach Bums to take in the top of Anna Maria? Or, there are Skegways for hire with tours thrown -in. Then, eventually and sadly, take the free trolley back down Island. You could stop for an early dinner at Holmes Beach - Eat Here, Lobstaars, Hurricane Hanks and others, or continue back to Bridge Street Bradenton Beach where there is a further choice, before taking the Trolley for one last time back to Coquina Beach and the Car. Just one day in paradise! When will you be back? We started out just the same and now can't wait to return each year.

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Illinois
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5. Re: First visit itinerary suggestions please !

We were originally thinking of going to AMI for our first time around Easter also. Now we are going in May and Staying at LaCosta Condos. BUT....when looking originally I believe Harrington House Beachfront Bed & Breakfast on Holmes Beach allowed one night stays around Easter. Looks like pretty good reviews. I've never been to the area either just a suggestion for staying on the island for one night. Good Luck!

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Holmes Beach
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Anna Maria Island, FL
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Enfield, United...
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6. Re: First visit itinerary suggestions please !

Thank you very much for the helpful replies :-)

Looking forward to it so much and will be taking your advice along with me (I am compiling a file of useful info).

Harrington House does indeed look lovely but as we have already booked and it definitely looks like a place to savour (rather than just a place to lay our weary heads!) I will be keeping it in mind as an option for when we can come back for a longer stay. I hope you have a lovely time in May and enjoy all AMI has to offer.

One little worry is the beach renourishment which I have just been reading about. It is suposed to finish by the start of April so I'm hoping that is the case!

If we like what we experience in April I would love to come back in 2015 for a longer break . Just got to get my husband onside !!! He found Clearwater not to his taste (high rise/brash etc - as did I ) so hoping AMI will win him over.

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West Burlington...
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7. Re: First visit itinerary suggestions please !

Do visit the Bridge street area. Walk down to the little marina and clock tower at the end of Bridge Street. It is so neat to see the sail boats. Stop at the little shops, restaurants or mini golf on the way. Walk down by Circle K and across the street is One Stop Shell Shop. We love visiting this little shop. Across the street is th beach. Definitely visit Cafe on the Beach and the beach at the end of Manetee Ave. Have lunch with sand under your feet! This woul be a nice location to park, then visit upper Anna Maria then down to Bradenton Beach and on to Coquina Beach on the trolley-- or just drive to each location. Walk the beaches and have a great time!

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8. Re: First visit itinerary suggestions please !

Goodevans-

You have received some very excellent advice above.

Just a note of caution: Easter weekend will be very crowded for AMI (4/18-4/20 this year), so try to avoid these dates, if possible. Traffic will back up a bit, and the trolleys and restaurants will be quite full.

I still think you should visit, if this is the only time that you are available. Just keep in mind that the crowds (though still not bad, in my opinion) are not at all typical for AMI. Have a great trip!

jkelly

Enfield, United...
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9. Re: First visit itinerary suggestions please !

Thanks for the advice all.

We are visiting on Wed' 16th April so hopefully will beat the Easter crowds :-)

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10. Re: First visit itinerary suggestions please !

AMI is nothing like Clearwater Beach, so you are good there for your husband to like it. I bet he will love it and you will be back!

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